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Charlotte Laws
Member of the 
Greater Valley Glen Council

21781 Ventura Blvd., Suite 633
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Tel.  818.346.5280
Fax.  818.985.1690

drlaws@roadrunner.com

Photo of Charlotte Laws in March 2005

Greater Valley Glen Council

 General Meeting – October 10, 2005


Call to order, pledge of allegiance. Present are Max Bulwa, Sharon Anton, Charlotte Laws, Lloyd Nelson, Larry Hanna, Valerie Olive, Terry Anderson, Vic Viereck, Abby Tetenbaum, Martin Donabedian, Linda Wehrli, Mario Sweet, Mickey Jannol, Carlos Ferreyra.  Absent is Rena. Kiavesh and Shawn arrived late after the park issue was discussed and before any votes were taken.

Scott Halliburton, Carole Sher and Sharon Noble are no longer on the council because they have missed too many meetings.

Review of the minutes – Minutes approved.

Sharon Ford – Thanks to the councilmembers who attended the planning commission meeting.

Sandy Munz- She talks about the playground equipment issue. She says that people in the community knew nothing about it; she is against the equipment. It is being pushed on the residents. This is a neighborhood park; she does not want trash and baby diapers. There has been a request that bathrooms be installed; she does not like this.

Don Spielburger – Playground issue. Crime issue, parking and traffic issue, safety issue. He doesn’t know if it will bring more crime. Traffic might not be a huge issue. The safety is a problem in his view. The park is a buffer to the freeway. There is a tiny little fence that prevents cars from coming into the park. Major asthma problems by playing next to the freeway- increased health problems.

Judy Price – Wendy Greuel has funded the playground equipment to the tune of $150,000. 200 people around the park are for it. If parks are not for kids, then what are they for? Wendy Greuel is in favor of the park.

Member of the public – He lives in front of the park. It is a matter of safety. High speed. He is against the equipment. Trash, etc. No one picks up the trash except the residents. Not suitable to have a lot of people coming to this park. The people who will visit the park will have no concern for keeping it nice.

Quite a number people are at the meeting and against the playground equipment. They raise their hands.

Larry Hanna – there may be a special meeting – community meeting about the playground equipment.

Carlos Ferryera – park issue. It is important for this council to get involved on issues like the park. The new council should do this.

Terry Anderson – It baffles me that anyone would oppose playground equipment in a park. Parks belong to everyone, even if they are not located on main streets. Terry is in favor of the park.

Vic Viereck – Legitimate issues on both sides of this issue.

Mickey Jannol – All councilmenbers should go look at the park.

LAPD Report – Senior Lead report.

Pat Davenport from Wendy Greuel’s office – Award. Certificate from Wendy’s office for Rick NuDyke. Rick takes public safety in Valley Glen very seriously. For all of the hours he donates. 

Carlos – Speech about Rick NuDyke. He does things without asking for thanks.

President’s Report – Larry Hanna – Gift of a T shirt for Mario Sweet.

Vic Vierek – Treasurer’s Report. He passed out the budget.

Terry Anderson wants to know when the outstanding bills will be paid. And what about the money we have, but have not spent. The new council needs to k now about the money that has not been spent.

Vic says the bills will be paid soon.

Carlos – what happens to the money that has not been paid when the new council comes. Larry – it will be up to the new council. We would have to have the invoices before the end of the term.

Budget is approved.

Election Report – Carlos. Our election administrator has reviewed our procedures. Some issues needed to be cleared up. Carlos passed out the latest set of procedures. We have been approving all procedures on an action by action basis rather than approving all as a whole. Photo IDs was a point of contention. We did not ratify the document as a whole. We have been told we can ratify the entire document as a whole with the following changes: Extend the candidacy deadline to October 17, 2005 at 9:00 pm. The election day is October 26, 2005. Neither are holidays. Looked at all religions. There was a decision not to consider the minor holidays or we could never choose a day.

Motion to accept the extension of the candidate filing period to the 17th. Seconded. Vote. Unanimously approved.

DONE wants everything to match. We left out the definitions and how to vote for two groups.

Motion to

Change to the Business/merchant category to state “if a stakeholder fits into this category as defined by the bylaws and election procedures, he or she may vote in this category. There are four (4) seats at large. Each stakeholder may vote for four (4) people.”

Change the Commercial Property owner category to state “if a stakeholder fits into the category as defined by the bylaws and the election procedures, he/she may vote in this category. There are two seats at large. Each stakeholder may vote for two (2) people.”

On the handout… Motion to make these changes too.

The number on page four should be changed to 2 rather than 4.

Page four “Youth category” should be D.

All of this passes unanimously.

DONE wants us to approve the full document. Motion to accept it with the corrections we made today. Second.

Diana Lipari – Passing out information. Many changes in first set of documents. The reason Laurie Levine and Diana Lipari have made such a big deal of this is because the council needs to do things in front of the public with properly noticed meetings. Council receives its legitimacy from the stakeholders in the community. Eliminating stakeholder verification means the voting can be abused, people not in the area can vote. Photo ID issue.

Laurie – definitions in procedures do not agree with the bylaws. Valerie can address this issue. Definitions in election procedures do not agree with the bylaws.

Michael wants to extend the three minute rule.

Valerie – under youth in bylaws – under Article V (p. 5) 1 G – youth - the words “or attend school” were never approved by the board.

Laurie - Also “leases” on page 2 of election procedures was not approved by the board in the bylaws. It is also wrong in the bylaws.

Larry Hanna – Does anyone have any changes they feel need to be made?

Laurie Levine – Two separate issues. Stakeholder verification identifies what category you are in. The election procedures template will come into effect in Feb. 2006. Why was stakeholder verification taken out by the board? DONE did not ask for this.

Candidate age of 18 and voting age of 16. We have a candidate age of no minimum – a six year old can run but cannot vote. No definitions in election procedures for homeowners or resident occupants.

Charlotte Laws – Do we have to get approval from DONE for all of this?

Larry Hanna – He says yes we do. We can be safe and approve what Carlos suggested. If we make more changes, we will have to send it back to DONE.

Diana Lipari – DONE told her that the election would not be held up.

Michael (public) – photo ID requirement. To show you are a stakeholder gives authenticity to the election procedure. Wants us to throw out the photo ID requirement.

Laurie Levine – Stakeholder verification is important. She goes over the template. She wants us to put this back in to legitimize the election. Bylaws do not have a minimum age for the candidate – it should be 18. Only one seat should be a minor – the youth category.

Max Bulwa – Don’t let all of this discourage any of you in the audience from running in the election.

Terry Anderson – If we make any changes from what we have already discussed, we will have a two year term. If we tinker, the election will be delayed.

Valerie – It is an invitation to fraud to not change to the other set.

Larry – He disagrees with Valerie. He has spoken to DONE.

Carlos – If we accept these, question about illegal aliens.

Diana – Look at the “other” category.

Michael – Wants us to vote our principles.

Vote on the election procedures as a whole, with the amendments discussed earlier. Motion passes. Everyone says yes except Valerie and Vic say no and Linda abstains.

Carlos – Now we need a motion about article XI of the bylaws that the Stakeholder’s elections are October 26, 2005 and the caucus elections are October 27, 2005. Passes. Everyone says yes, except Valerie abstains.

Valerie – Motion to bring up Diana Lipari’s set of procedures on the table for this board. Larry - Open discussion about this.

Valerie – People are conspiring to do illegal tings.

Larry – This should be taken to the city attorney. Criminal charges should be brought against these people.

Max – Wants to go forward with the election.

Valerie – These changes we made were not legitimate to start with.

Shawn – Everyone is the right age who are running.

Diana Lipari – The procedures are in front of you. You removed it without fully understanding why you did it.  You had a verbal explanation and then just said “do what you want.” You never looked at the changes on paper. Is it better to do it the easy way or to do it the right way?

Motion – To accept Diana’s election procedures instead of the stuff we approved before. Vote and it does not pass. We have four nos, seven abstains, and three yes. No are Terry, Martin, Lloyd, Mario. Yes are Vic, Valerie, Carlos.

Lloyd – Allott property to divide into two lots. Motion to approve the project as presented tonight.

Dev – presentation about the Allott property. Wants a letter of support from the Council saying they can divide the property. Will keep the property in the front so the character of the neighborhood will remain. Two neighbors said “no” and one is uncertain. Has to go to a public hearing.

Charlotte Laws – I object to it. Most beautiful street in Valley Glen. Neighbors are not all in agreement with this project. I would like people to drive by this street before they vote.

Carlos – I have been by it and I do not object to the project. He is asking for a lot split. Not asking us for permission to build.

Max – Will support the project.

Terry Anderson – He supports the proposal.

Judy Price – Supports the project.

Motion passes to support the property split on Allott. Ten say yes. Charlotte is the only one who says no. Three people abstain: Abby, Vic, Martin.

Presentation regarding Sprint – Lloyd. Motion to accept the cell tower by Sprint.

Courtney representing Sprint – Antennas are hidden within the flag pole. 50 feet tall. Permanent lit flag – it does not go up and down.

Carlos – The corner needs improvement and it gives us a gateway sign and a bench for the bus stop.

Charlotte Laws – It looks like a good project. What have the objections been?

Courtney - We have to give notification and the Neighborhood Council is one of those notifications.

Max Bulwa – Medical side effects?

Courtney - For it to be dangerous, you would have to climb up the pole and be there for a while. It is not dangerous for people waiting for the bus.

Abby – Have you been denied placing these anywhere?

Courtney – Some locations are difficult. We think this location works for everyone. Shrubs are maintained by a company Sprint hires. Graffiti has to be removed. We can work together on what the sign says.

Terry – Doesn’t like the sign.

Larry Hanna – Could you bring the sign back to the new council?

Terry – Amendment for Sprint to come back for a joint agreement as to the design.

Motion approved unanimously.

13604 Sherman Way – five story complex, subterranean complex with a couple of shops. It will replace an auto body shop and vacant land. Motion to accept the proposal with final conditions as to what the final design will be.

Carlos – There have been some issues of prostitution in the area. These developers have worked with the community. Thanks to them for coming here.

Speaker about the project – We are committed to cleaning up this neighborhood. Explanation of the project with photos. These will be condos, not apartments. We think it will improve the neighborhood. The city seems enthusiastic about mixed used. 56 condominium units. We will have many amenities. Wants to bring a quality of life into the neighborhood. No balconies on the back. Surveillance cameras.

Charlotte Laws – We should approve the project. We all supported inclusionary zoning and that is what this project is. It will be an asset to Sherman Way, and the homeowner behind the property supports this.

Carlos – I wholeheartedly support the project.

Max – What about parking?

Presenter – High standards for parking with what the city requires. Only access from Sherman Way.

Vic – Are you being required to put any low-income housing in the project?

Presenter – Not being required to do this, but will consider it. Need a letter from the Council and support for the project and the RAS zone for the mixed use.

Martin – Will you own and operate it or will you sell it.

Presenter – Retain the retail space on the bottom and probably one condo, will sell the rest.

Vote on the motion – It passes unanimously.

Friends of the Erwin Street School – presentation – Soraya Dosaj – Wants appealing play structures. Encourage more exercise. Wants us to support playground improvements at Erwin Elementary. I would like to pass this around for signatures and letter on the letterhead. If Council would like to donate up to and including $10,000. “Friends” work with community beautification.

Terry – Motion to donate $1000 to the school for the project and include a letter supporting it.

Abby – Child obesity is an epidemic.

Mickey – Friendly amendment for to raise the amount to $2500.

Presenter – The cost of the equipment is not certain yet, but grants are being pursued. Will be used by students at the school.

Vic – Better to give money for specific items rather than a general donation.

Carlos – Amendment – sign or plaque that money has been donated by the Council.

Motion is $2500 to the Erwin Street school for the playground equipment to the “Fit and Fancy Project” and a plaque saying some funds donated by the Greater Valley Glen Council. Passes unanimously.

Front yard fence proposal – Charlotte Laws – Motion to pass this proposal and send it to the city council. It would mean all pay permit fee within 90 days, grandfather in current fences or hedges unless they are dangerous, raise fence height to 5 feet. Times have changed. People want security, privacy and self-determination.

Abby – In support of the proposal. 50% of my street must have illegal fences. Safety, security, respect for the law are important. Make people pay the permit fee.

Terry – Tall fences wreck the neighborhoods. We should call the city and turn people in. Great dog walking neighborhood. People become isolated from the whole neighborhood. No interaction. No community.

Carlos – The City of L.A. does not enforce the laws. The new laws won’t be enforced.

Larry Hanna – If we approve something like this, it could get higher than five feet.

Abby – The law is being ignored. Let’s collect the permit fees.

Judy Price – Hot button issue. There should be a community meeting on this issue.

Charlotte Laws – Terry, people have a right to isolate themselves if they want. The city has a don’t ask, don’t tell policy now. We would be the one of the few councils in the country to come up with a proposal: only Richmond, Santa Monica, Burbank and Glendale have dealt with this issue.

Vote on the fence issue. At first the vote is 6 – yes, 5 – no and one abstain. Then Larry decides to vote no so the motion fails. The yes are: Charlotte, Sharon, Abby, Kiavesh, Linda. No are Terry, Larry, Carlos, Mickey, Lloyd, Shawn, Mario. Abstain is Max.

Boardmember Comments -

Vic – Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils / UCC Forum welcomes Mayor Villaraigosa. At the Airtel Plaza Hotel. November 10, 5:30-9:30 pm.

Larry – This is the final meeting. Meeting adjourned.